reduce

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Related to reducibly: reducible polynomial, reducible hernia

reduce (something) to rubble

To completely destroy something, either literally or figuratively. The tornado reduced whole towns to rubble. Being rejected by that famous director totally reduced my confidence to rubble.
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in reduced circumstances

Euph. in poverty. After Frederick lost his position, we lived in reduced circumstances while waiting for my inheritance.
See also: circumstance, reduce

reduce someone to silence

to cause someone to be silent. The rebuke reduced him to silenceat last. Mary was reduced to silence by Jane's comments.
See also: reduce, silence

reduce someone to tears

to cause a person to cry through insults, frustration, and belittling. He scolded her so much that she was reduced to tears by the end of the meeting.
See also: reduce, tear

reduce something by something

to diminish something by a certain amount. I have to reduce your allowance by two dollars per week until you pay me back for the broken window. I will reduce the bill by a few dollars.
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reduce (something) from (something to something)

to diminish something from one degree to a lower degree. I will reduce the fine from two hundred dollars to one hundred dollars. Mary reduced her demands from a large sum to a smaller one.
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reduced to doing something

brought into a certain humble condition or state. The poor man was reduced to begging for food.
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reduce somebody to something

to force someone into a worse condition than usual He had to sell his home to pay his legal fees and was reduced to parking cars for money. Sheila's cries reduced him to silence.
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reduce somebody to tears

to make someone cry His classmates jeered, reducing him to tears.
See also: reduce, tear

in reduced circumstances

  (slightly formal)
if someone, especially someone from a high social class, is in reduced circumstances, they have a lot less money than they did before They found him living in reduced circumstances in a flat off Fulham Road.
See also: circumstance, reduce

reduce to

v.
1. To decrease something to some level: The drought reduced the stream to a trickle.
2. To bring someone to some humbler, weaker, difficult, or forced state or condition: The illness had reduced them almost to emaciation. The sight of her mother reduced her to tears. The army reduced him from a command post to a desk job.
3. To bring someone to such a humble, weak, or desperate state or condition that he or she does something drastic: The Depression reduced many to begging on the street.
4. To damage or destroy something, leaving it in some lesser state: The blaze reduced the warehouse to ashes.
5. To make something shorter and simpler; summarize something: Their entire business philosophy can be reduced to "The customer is always right."
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